Not fair, I suppose, to copy the final paragraph of an excellent reflection by Dr Anthony Esolen thereby shortchanging readers of the best of the mess; please read it all – here.
I am reading about the beloved Saint Seraphim of Sarov, who observed a ten year period of silence, and who retreated to the forest to live a life of prayer and fasting. Out of his mind, the knowing secularist would say. Yet when Saint Seraphim, in his old age, returned to “the world,” he became the spiritual director of a convent of nuns he established, gave counsel to hundreds of people who came to him every week, dictated to one of his friends a work of deep and humane instruction in the ascetic life, healed the sick, and radiated a profound joy. Saint Seraphim was sane in the old sense of the word: he was whole and sound. If the political wranglings of our time — and the amoralism that goes along with them — are sane, then give me the madness of Seraphim. I’d be nearer the Lord, I’d be wiser and happier, I’d be of more use to my family and friends, and I’d get more done.